BLACK CAT POEMS
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Four Belgians, ebony titans, long retired,
graze the green hillside. Heads raised, ears erect,
they snort loudly, clearing their nostrils to decipher the wind.
Flexing legs into motion, the earth resonates,
their hooves pounding with stronger and greater strides.
They circle tighter and tighter until there is no escape.
Only six, she is barely able to reach their stomachs.
Nickering softly, they nudge her gently in the side,
sniffing what she hides.
Coat pockets bulging, she offers Gravenstiens
gathered from her family's orchard,
which borders the horse's pasture.
Unable to reach these apples through the fence,
they lower their heads as if giving thanks. Soft muzzles
and rubbery lips brush her outstretched palms.
They crunch the shiny fruit to pulp and foaming mustaches.
With complete joy, yet calm, she pats their chests and legs.
As though she was one of their own, they nuzzle her.
Beginning to graze again, she stands with them,
a member of the herd. Primal instincts flowing back and forth,
a language all their own, only they can understand.
poems by Mark Thalman